The Golden Age of Comic Book Movies

Today marks a very much anticipated date for me, and that is the release of Daredevil Season 2 on Netflix, the street level epic series about the crime fighting man without fear from Hell’s Kitchen.

Soon enough audiences worldwide will be captivated by Captain America: Civil War, and the decade long overdue Batman v. Superman.

While the Golden Age of Comic Books was from the 1930s to 1950s, it has become evident that the early 21st Century has become the Golden Age of Comic Book Movies. And series. It was in the Golden Age of Comics that many of the most recognizable comic book characters were first published, including Batman, Superman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Arrow, and Aquaman all of whom will be starring in a movie or television series this year.

These original characters were archetypes and set the tone for superheroes to come for decades, unchanged until the Vietnam war brought about a darker, grittier ensemble of comic book characters, often referred to as antiheros, many of which are also enjoying screen time, such as Punisher, Wolverine and the X-Men.

This is truly an incredible time to be alive if you enjoy comic books or the genre. Never having read comics myself as a kid, I have taken a huge liking to comic book movies – and judging by ticket sales and the seemingly unstoppable train of financial success they have enjoyed, it appears the entire world has too.

A genre that largely didn’t exist prior to the year 2000, comic book movies hold three of the top 10 grossing movies of all time, Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and Iron Man 3 (2013) all having been released in this century, scratch that, this decade alone. Additionally, CBMs occupy 7 of the top 50 spots. With blockbuster Deadpool breaking all sorts of records, and mega-titans Civil War and Batman v. Superman on the horizon, don’t be surprised if a couple more comic book titles get bumped on to that list.

Almost a year ago I wrote another blog titled What’s Next for Marvel MCU in which I listed various productions that would be coming out from Marvel’s MCU (owned by Disney). Since then we’ve managed to scratch a few titles off that list. But with DC/Warner Bros cranking up the heat with their own DC Extended Universe (DCEU) this summer with not just one, but two films (double doses of Batman!), and Fox’s own Marvel franchise still churning, see this revised list of Comic Book Movie titles stretching all the way out to 2020!

  • 2015-April-10: Daredevil [Netflix]
  • 2015-May-01: Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • 2015-July-17: Ant-Man
  • 2015-Sep-29: Agents of Shield: New Season [TV]
  • 2015 Nov-20 Jessica Jones [Netflix]
  • 2016-Feb-12: Deadpool
  • 2016-Mar-25: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • 2016-May-06: Captain America: Civil War
  • 2016-May-27: X-Men: Apocalypse
  • 2016-Aug-5: Suicide Squad
  • 2016-Sep-30: Luke Cage [Netflix]
  • 2016-Nov-04: Doctor Strange
  • 2016 Unknown: Iron Fist [Netflix]
  • 2016 Unknown: Defenders [Netflix]
  • 2017-Mar-03: Wolverine 3
  • 2017-May-05: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
  • 2017-June-23: Wonder Woman
  • 2017-July-07: Untitled Spider-Man Film
  • 2017-Nov-03: Thor Ragnarok
  • 2017-Nov-17: Justice League Part One
  • 2018-Feb-18: Black Panther
  • 2018-May-03: Avengers: Infiniti War Part I
  • 2018-Mar-8: Captain Marvel
  • 2018-Mar-16: The Flash
  • 2018-Jul-27: Aquaman
  • 2019-Apr-05: Shazam
  • 2019-June-14: Justice League Part Two
  • 2019-July-12: Inhumans
  • 2019-May-03: Avengers: Infiniti War Part II
  • 2020-Apr-03: Cyborg
  • 2020-Jun-20: Green Lantern Corps

The lists ends at 2020, but Marvel reps have previously stated they have films slated all the way out to 2028. With the complex interweaving of movies, TV shows, comics, web series, and even video games, it seems that there is no foreseeable end in sight for comic book movies and the comic book genre in general. While Spider-Man (2002) has since been relaunched not just once, but twice, and one would suspect it must have clearly been a dud, the movie did spectacularly well and started a domino effect that may very well last three decades. Iron Man (2008) introduced the world to something it had (more the most part) never seen before – a shared universe of movies.

Major studios like Fox, Disney, and Sony have gobbled up every title they can get their hands on. Comic books, once a genre thought to be exclusive to children and virgin computer nerds, have crept into the psyche of the average Joe and Hollywood brass. CBMs have started their own controversial debates over the use of violence, backboards for reflecting real life existential issues like terrorism, security, and freedom and social issues like race, gender, and sexual orientation. To a Spider-Man trailer featuring the Twin Towers being recalled shortly after the 9/11 attacks, to complaints about mass civilian casualties in Man of Steel and Avengers, and racial issues such as the casting of Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch or Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, it’s clear that comic books are popular, lucrative, controversial, engaging, and here to stay.

Welcome to the Golden Age of Comic Book Movies.

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